But, opioid-related deaths have been dropping in some U.S. states
In 2016, 66% of all deaths due to drug overdoses were due to opioids, according to a study done by the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. This showed a nearly 28% increase compared to the number of opioid-related deaths in 2015. Despite this rise, however, some states are actually seeing a decline in their number of opioid overdose deaths. Recent medical studies have found that states where marijuana has been legalized have seen a drop in opioid use. Researchers believe many people are willing to turn to the now-legal drug as a substitute for opioids, both prescribed and not, to relieve their pain.
The expansion of treatment programs has also helped lower the number in some states: for example, Rhode Island introduced addiction rehabilitation programs into their prison systems, and as a result, the state saw a 4% drop in accidental overdose deaths due to opioid use. Other states that have seen a decrease in opioid-related deaths are: Nebraska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.